Sierra Gorda: A Model for Conservation

Sierra Gorda was an expanse of wilderness in the heart of Mexico. Activities like logging, road building and other types of often-unregulated development, damaged the unique mix of jungles and cloud forests of the area. A former music teacher Martha Isabel “Pati” Ruiz Corzo launched a grassroots movement. At the effort’s core is the idea that local communities should play a leading role in conservation and that preserving Sierra Gorda’s natural spaces could be more profitable than razing them.

At present, Sierra Gorda has thriving ecosystems that host a number of wildlife, including more than 1,100 species of birds and butterflies, and endangered animals, such as the jaguar. The region is widely viewed as a rare conservation success story, one that is receiving more attention as countries work to meet the ambitious targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.


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